New Tower With Community Benefits Approved for 25 Columbus Drive

jersey city development 25 columbus
Credit: Handel Architects/L+M Development Partners

Last year, Jersey City paved the way to add another piece to its skyline and in the dog days of this year’s summer, final approvals were granted for a plan that will see a new 52-story tower built with several other community benefits.

In September 2016, Jersey City’s Planning Board voted unanimously to amend the Paulus Hook Redevelopment Plan. The move eliminated a parcel at 25 Columbus Drive from the existing plan and cleared a path to create a new redevelopment scheme specific to the site.

jersey city development 25 columbus site plan
Credit: Handel Architects/L+M Development Partners

The change was made because of a $370 million proposal by L+M Development Partners, and those plans were granted final approval by the Planning Board on July 18th. New York-based Handel Architects has designed a project that would build the aforementioned 750-unit tower, a brand new 35,000 square foot public school, four storefronts and a public plaza, also sprucing up a current affordable housing complex in the process.

jersey city development 25 columbus 1
Credit: Handel Architects/L+M Development Partners

L+M and the Paulus Hook Community Housing Corporation signed a deal back in 2014 for the sale of both an existing 163-unit affordable housing building and a neighboring parking lot at the property. Under the deal, all the current affordable apartments will be maintained and L+M will invest $3 million to improve the building, work that will include new windows and façade renovations.

In exchange for that investment, L+M will get to build a 52-story, 750-unit tower on a parking lot right next door. The rental apartments at the new property will break down as 157 studios, 380 one-bedrooms, 197 2-bedrooms, and 16 3-bedrooms. Amenities at the building will include a dog run, a pool, and two roof decks totaling about 7,200 square feet. Select units in the building will sport private terraces.

jersey city development 25 columbus tower
Credit: Handel Architects/L+M Development Partners

38 apartments in the new tower will be set aside as moderate-income units, and 401 parking spaces will be included in the development. In addition to the tower, the project will sport 16,485-square feet of retail split up between four spaces in shorter buildings surrounding the high-rise, three of which will be located on the corner of Montgomery and Warren Streets. The fourth storefront will be along Columbus Drive in the center of the property.

In addition to the affordable units and retail, L+M will construct a 35,000-square foot school facility on another section on the property that will be deeded to the city for $1. The contract has already been approved by the Board of Education and the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency will issue $1 million in bonds for the project due to the community givebacks that are included.

jersey city development 25 columbus plaza
Credit: Handel Architects/L+M Development Partners

A public plaza will also be built at the corner of Warren Street and Columbus Drive. L+M estimates that 350 new construction jobs and 15 permanent ones will be created when the project moves forward. However, all these benefits do have a price; the city granted the development a 25-year tax abatement in February this year by a 6-3 council vote.

The property currently produces about $51,000 in taxes annually for the city, but when the new tower rises and the retail and school components get built out, over $1.7 million per year in ratables will be generated for the city with the tax abatement. A timeline for the project isn’t clear, but during a week where another Columbus Drive development suffered a setback, it looks like the street’s growth spurt is still going strong.


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  1. so…where’s the parking lot for that school? surely they don’t expect at least 40 staff members to park on the street. heck, not even 10 could probably park on the street.

    • there are 400 parking spots in the new building so my assumption is that a certain number will be allotted to teachers. more concerning to me is the 25 year tax abatement. why do we need to keep giving incentives to an already overcrowded, overdeveloped area?

    • It’s the market. I would love to see more condos at prices affordable for everyday people, but it just isn’t cost effective to do so. I don’t know the solution.

  2. What are the income limits for the affordable housing units? And is 400 parking spaces enough for all new tenants and the old Montgomery Tower residents?

  3. Any updates on this project? Curious if we’re going to get a new public school anytime soon. The existing downtown ones are going to get (more) overcrowded with all the new high-rise developments.

  4. What about the parking for 100 Montgomery St? There still aren’t enough schools and affordable housing that building was approved for 5% affordable housing units really people!
    100 Montgomery was promised parking for 308 units. How are you building a 52 story building with 750 units and another building on the block with 308 apts and only build a parking lot with 400 spots! Ridiculous!


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